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Traveling With Currencies

Usually when I travel to the states I just transfer an amount to my account and I’m good to go, but when traveling across Europe that is a different story. I don’t like using my card from the paranoia of having my card copied and sometimes you want to have some cash, but in Kuwait usually people like carrying with them a certain amount of money especially when they are traveling on long trips. The part they don’t realize are limits applied by the customs of their respective countries.

When traveling to the states the rule is simple you can’t bring more then 10’000 USD or the currencies equivalent to that amount and if you pass it then you have to declare it. And if the amount is within reason they let it go, such as 14’000 USD or 17’000 USD then they let that pass but its more then that then they take you in for questioning and make sure to follow up with you. If you don’t declare the amount you have then they would confiscate the whole amount if they are to discover it.

In the case of the Euro and British Pound it is sort of an equivalent story, you can’t bring more then 10’000 Euro or 7000 GBP while traveling into Europe. There is no declaration form for funds when traveling into the UK, but when traveling into France, Italy, Germany, or any other European country it is a little different. If you bring in a siginificantly larger amount then that and you don’t declare then they might hold you, or deport you and they are sure to confiscate the all the money. If you declare it still doesn’t make it easy, for example if you declare 20’000 upon entry then upon exit they ask for every reciept of the whole amount that you spent, so they will review the whole thing which is a complete headache.

This is what is faced by people who prefer to carry cash and in Kuwait some people prefer cash over card all the time. There are a few other solutions, one is having a prepaid card for the amount you want to use for your travels, and one other solution is getting travelers cheques in Euros, British Pounds, or US Dollars. But one thing to note is that you have cash the traveler cheques in their respective countries to get back the amount without any fees, which can be done at any foreign exchange such as Travelex, Thomas Cook, Western Union, American Express Exchange, and any 5 star hotel or Bank.